Item:
ONSV21AH138

Original U.S. WWII Colonel Robert Besson POW Japanese Interrogation Phonograph Recording Dated December 1943

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a double sided vinyl phonograph record was made by U.S Military Intelligence on December 20-21, 1943. On the recording are two soldiers (one on each side) being used as Japanese Propaganda.

Side #1:
Burton A. Garrett
Tokyo, Japan
Dec. 20th, 1943

Side #2:
Recorded Voice of
Major Robert Besson
Tokyo, Japan
Dec. 21, 1943

Robert Besson graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1937. Captured as the fall of the Philippine Islands early in World War II, he spent the remainder of the war as a Prisoner of War of the Japanese. He retired as a U.S. Army Colonel. Colonel Robert Besson was the recipient of the Distinguished Service cross and was part of the POW Batan Death March in 1944. More at this link. Serving in the U.S. Army, Infantry, INF: INFANTRY, Robert was captured by JAPAN and was imprisoned at Osaka Main Camp Chikko Osaka 34-135. Final information at the end of the conflict was Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated. Data shows Robert was in Southwest Pacific Theatre: Philippine Islands.

Colonel Besson Partial Service Record
- 57th Infantry Regiment, Instructor, 21st Division, Philippine Army, Aug.-Dec. 1941
- Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, Philippine Army, Dec. 1941-1942
- Bataan Death March survivor. POW.
- Awarded DSC

DATE OF BIRTH: September 15, 1911
PLACE OF BIRTH:
Washington, D.C.
HOME OF RECORD:
Washington, D.C.

AWARDS BY DATE OF ACTION: 1 of 4
Distinguished Service Cross
AWARDED FOR ACTIONS
DURING World War II
Service: Army
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Division: 21st Division (Philippine Army)
GENERAL ORDERS:

Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, General Orders No. 14 (1942)
CITATION:
SYNOPSIS: The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Infantry) Robert Besson (ASN: 0-20771), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, in action against enemy forces as Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion, 21st Division, Philippine Army on 26 December 1941. Captain Besson's outstanding leadership, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

We were also able to find a photo of Besson at the POW camp courtesy of the Australian War Memorial which can be found at this link.

Group portrait of prisoners of war (POWs) from Zentsuji Camp at Shikoku, Osaka, Japan. Identified, left to right: First Lieutenant Carroll R Hines, United States (US) Army, Infantry; Second Lieutenant C N Kline, US Army; Captain Frederick J Yeager, US Army; Major (Maj) C F Maynard, US Army; Maj Clarence Bidgood, US Army; and Maj Robert Besson, US Army, Infantry. Most of the men in the camp were Allied officers captured in the early battles of 1942. The camp was a 'show camp' used by the Japanese for propaganda purposes, but after 1942 conditions worsened.

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